Headaches tend to be an annoying disease that most people are being suffering from. There are statistics showing that about 50-70 million Americans are having recurring headaches each year. In fact, a headache is such a common medical problem that most of us tend to overlook it or pop an over the counter pain killer and move on with our daily lives.
A headache is known as cephalagia in medical terminology and causes pain in the head, forehead, temples, shoulder, eyes and neck region. The exact cause of headache is not known till date but it is believed to be triggered by various underlying causes such as stress, tension, intake of a faulty diet, sleep deprivation or an organic illness.
Classification of headaches: The different types of headaches are classified on the basis of their frequency and duration as well as on the basis of an underlying medical problem. These include:
Episodic headaches: These headaches are experienced less than 15 days a month, are bilateral in nature and last from 30 minutes to about a week.
Chronic headaches: These headaches can be bilateral or unilateral in nature and occur more than 15 days in a month.
Primary headaches: These headaches are not caused by any underlying medical condition.
Secondary headaches: These headaches are the outcome of some other medical problems such as high blood pressure, sinusitis, brain tumor, hormonal imbalance etc.
Types of headaches:
As per the International Headache Society (IHS) headaches can be differentiated from one another based on their frequency, duration, pain characteristics and accompanying symptoms. Diagnosing a headache is not all that easy because several types of headaches have similar symptoms. Some of the most common types of headaches are:
Migraine headache: A migraine headache is known to afflict over 17% women and 5% men each year in the United States. This type of headache is unilateral in nature meaning it affects only one side of the head. It is accompanied by an array of symptoms that include blurred vision, flashes of light, temporary blindness, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, food cravings and sensitivity to smell and sound. The aura symptoms of migraine include peculiar sensations prior to a full blast attack and can be quite distressing.
Tension headache: This type of headache is also known as stress headache, ordinary headache or idiopathic headache. It is accompanied by mild to moderate pressing pain that is bilateral in nature and affects the head, facial region and back of the neck. This type of headache can last from 1 hour to several hours and may occur 1-2 times a week. These headaches can be episodic as well as chronic.
Cluster headache: This type of headache is estimated to afflict about 500, 000 to 2 million Americans each year. Cluster headaches are also known as suicide headaches and are accompanied by excruciating pain with a cluster period lasting between 2-3 months. The pain is piercing in nature and is mostly experienced in the temples and behind the eyes. The duration of a single attack can last from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
Sinus headache: Sinus headache is characterized by pain in the head, behind the eyes, cheekbones, temples and forehead. The pain tends to aggravate if you bend your head. Sinus headache is accompanied by nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat and malaise.
After recognize the different headaches, you may want to know how you can have the remedies and cures for this. Do refer here for more references: